tv Aspen Strategy Group Discussions on Technology National Security CSPAN January 31, 2019 3:08pm-5:39pm EST
if a person wants to get that degree, that is fine. they should not be able to get a loan for it if they are not going to be able to repay that loan. host: jason delisle on useless degrees. guest: we have policies in place that say if too many students -- >> because it is live, we ask you to silence your cell phones. if you would like to purchase a copy of the book, the book is national security and technology: maintaining america's edge. you can buy it here. it is a very romantic present for round wednesday. [laughter] very romantic present for valentine's day. [laughter] how to maintain american superiority at a time when there
is change. intelligence, machine learning, biotechnology. that was the subject that 65 of in our relatively nonpartisan group. we are a collective of people who are active journalists, business leaders, academic leaders. ago, a founded 35 years friend who exceeded right before you, by bill perry and by our great friend, someone [inaudible] years, we believe that republicans and democrats can come together to talk and plan the most- plan for
important issues in the united states. the book that all of you have, or hopefully shall have, silicon leaders from valley, the government, from business. we investigate how these new challenges dominate in need to be dealt with by a more productive conversation between the pentagon and america's tech community. we also examined two additional strategy tona's dominate artificial intelligence in the next decade and of course, the lagging american government funding for basic science research to our universities. the breakdown of that innovation that walter isaacson talks about in the book.
we have seen warnings from the u.s. military leadership about the consequent is of the united states falling behind in a development of these new technologies and their application to the united takes military. year inral said last just a few years if we do not change our directory, we will lose our competitive advantage. we are hearing similar warnings from the american scientific .ommunity he has referred to american research universities as engines of discovery that attract the best talent. his a question is whether america will you will its position-- yield its
and said for the first time since world war ii, it is in jeopardy. you will hear from all three panels about this. this calls for working with the private sector and our research universities and to make sure the united states is putting its best for that's best foot forward -- that's putting its best foot forward. today.anels challenge in u.s. tech. clark, director of ai and who spoke in the book. and, long time
national security advisor for thomas shelfma and , members of the aspen strategy group. the second panel will investigate the innovation triangle that is now lagging includend that will vice president of the apple , sylvia burwell, director of the -- former office director -- former director of the office and budget management. the third panel just before 5:00 will feature an interview i'm
going to do with our good friend, a fellow harvard professor. he has lived on all points of the triangle and as someone who now understands and as involved -- and involved in the is involved in the tech community. joe, thank you for your and thisp of our group panel. welcome, everybody. we are going to talk about china u.s.g and the challenge to technological privacy. when you think about china rising, something that is worrying me is american policy .ttitudes are like a pendulum
they swing in one direction and too far and another and there is because we were not tough enough on the chinese in the past and we are going to be overly tough now. keeping a sense of balance on this pendulum is very difficult, washington has often said one end or the other. i was struck by people who say china is passing the u.s. will create a great warlike germany's passing. anda has already passed us it has been exaggerated. germany had already passed britain by 1900 and the war was not until four years later.
they said that as they make as physical they use measures. they don't take the official numbers. we don't know the answer based on the data that people have in the official reports, but there is another argument that even for example, if there is too , there's and hysteria an argument that this time it is different. ai, thee because of normal progression you would see would be much faster. isood illustration [indiscernible] who knows a lot about ai and has argued that china will indeed be
able to catch up to reach xi goal of being number one in ai by 2030. people have said in the past because china will have a lot more data and they will have less restrictions on the data and concerns about privacy, so the algorithms will learn more quickly and that is how it passes. others say it is not just raw data, you can have synthetic data. back some of the problems in the area in the areas not determined by data, but even that is questionable and so the argument is that china will be able to leapfrog and their technology is not up to ours.
be in fact operations and engineering. these are the kinds of questions that we need to wrestle with as we try to put this new challenge into a broader perspective. it, i'm going to ask jack clark about the ai arms the americans are still way ahead. if you believe this could be then i'm going to turn to tom and ask him to tell us about an overall strategy in where the technology fits into it.
jack, let me start by asking to, is xi jinping going reach his goal of being number one by 2030 and if there is in ai arms race, what should we be doing about it? >> let me answer with a series of confusing numbers. there a big ai conference going on in hawaii and one of the things is, the number of research papers. want to look at the outcome of stem investment for a given nation. , they got over 100 papers accepted and every other nation had less than 100. they appear to be a competitor.
i think it is also worth saying that one other criticism we hear of china is they may not invent as much and copy more. this is theof number of papers you submit than the number you get accepted. if you are get the actual stats, china's acceptance rate is somewhere around 15% in the u.s. is around 21%, so this tells us two things. one, china is competitive in ai research. like the u.s. infrastructure produces a better caliber of paper right now. if you question whether they were start winning -- they will start winning, based on my experience, many military
organizations are not leading in ai. you also see this in china. i think the question for us is to what extent do we see the links between military organization and ai development as being inevitable and to what extent do we choose how those relationships are and whether you can have some level of collaboration. about themyou heard being somewhat unpredictable, somewhat unexplainable, these are true. i think no one who have served would like any unexplainable weapon. i think it leads us to have the chance to collaborate with a competitor around safety and
security so that things don't go bank when things get interesting. is naturalelle, that for you to follow up on. how will ai affect the military balance and what should we do about it? >> thank you for coming to the discussion. i think it is important to put the military piece into context which i think the primary competition will be economic and geopolitical and that neither country would choose to go to war together. any administration will try to avoid conflict, but there are so , thingsritorial issues that could become triggers, particularly with the lack of agreement and on norms of behavior. the name of the game is
determines. -- deterrence. that ife understand there was a conflict, they would have a chance of prevailing? that is where the impact of ai comes in. i think there is a serious element of competition and there is a risk that if china gets further ahead not only in ai am a but the application of ai to various military functions whether it is targeting, strike, economist systems, they could have a perception of paternal -- potential advantage and that perception could drive them to adopt anate, to try to asymmetric approach to have a strong first move in the hopes
of stopping the u.s. is how doe real issue we ensure that misperception does not take hold? i think it is important for us to ensure how a could leverage for defense and if necessary, were fighting? -- war fighting? they have a plan. they are putting state resources at a much higher level, so money, talent and focus. military have adopted fusion. gets shared with the military. we obviously don't have that here in united and may have a lot more access to data.
they don't have the same privacy concerns. they have a system that the government to dictate and i don't think they will have the same ethical and policy constraints, the same guardrail that the u.s. will certainly put . we have a number of structural disadvantages and i'm sure we thinklist more, but i do this is an important area where to even theds dialogue with the military and tech community. we need to figure out this problem of integration because this is going to be essential to deterring conflict with china in the future. you ahelle, let me ask follow-up about legacy systems. sometimes people will say that
the americans may be very good at ai time the pentagon is not going to be as good as integrating it because we are a prisoner of legacy systems. if you own a lot of carriers, you are going to invest less in unmanned drones which could destroy your legacy. it would be like the calvary. is there a problem here? carriers will actually be better at moving ahead by integrating ai then we inertia?se of >> we are very invested in legacy systems. that is all true and i think the
hard thing for the united states in an environment or the chinese have created a range or is goingin that zone to be vulnerable to be struck down, we have to figure out how to be able to operate out that or inside that range. point thet some additional battle group, if you actually took that money and invested it in all the capabilities of the existing again.make it effective it is cyber, autonomy,
leveraging ai for all of that. buying capability a trade-off. navy't mean to pick on the . it is true for every service. they will have that question. where is it where it makes more sense for me to modernize a legacy system with the capabilities that will keep survival relevant and not have quite as large a force? >> you have been thinking about u.s.-china relationship about overall strategy for long time. you have also been an important member of the strategy group and participated in the study that we talked about the implications of ai. how do you put these pieces together? youranks, nice to be with
-- you here today. first of all, to draw a picture of the strategic context, we are in a much more competitive phase in the u.s.-china -- in the u.s.-china relationship, indeed i think as a look back on 2018 year when it became clear that had nited states strategy moved substantially. eally from a strategy of cooperative engagement and beginning of that maybe february 972, to some extent with richard nixon visit there, certainly since end of the cold war. engaged in a tes cooperative engagement strategy ith china trying to seek a win/win set of outcome and integrate china into various systems in the d
world. it's moved in 2018, pretty reflecting y fundamental rethink, bipartisan s.think of u.s.-china relation it is fair to see we moved to strategic competition model at a new era and it is and finding as michelle eluded newfinding contours of this era. what are the rules of the road? where are we going to compete, going to compete is a work in progress, i don't think comprehensive way. that is strategic context, new hase of u.s.-china relationship. second, what has been front and center has been economic issues. and the president focused on market conduct activity by china and i think as hood, here today, leo vice premiere of china is meeting at the white house with resident trump as part of the negotiations during this 90-day period since president xi, and trump met in buenos
aires in december to try to work issues. the economic there seem to be number of things done in positive way on that to work through those. not the main game. the main game is what we're talking about, really is part of technological n competition, a competition to seize the commanding heights of technologies and industries of the future. and a piece, i want to turn the and get tock to jack quick summary of things we can are s it seems to me we moving not to have decoupling of the u.s. and china economy, you we have a over half trillion dollar relationship between the united states and up over the last 40 years, in the technology sectors decan you ng to believing. look at steps in the united states in the last six months, tightly regulating investment to china by the nited states, about to more tightly regulate export of technology from the united states to china. pretty estricting
significantly research and entrance into the united states in terms of cooperation nd moving to identifying entities we think are security threat to the united states and undertaking global efforts to ensure they don't do things like uild the 5g infrastructure, global effort against huawei, based on our security and economic concerns. you, when i ask finish, to turn on that decoupling thing, which i think broadly recognized or appreciated as it should be. we , couple points what should do and michelle indicated, touched on a lot of to have have comprehensive strategy, supporting allies, building doctrine and weaponry to defend ourselves and to continue to have, play the half e've played for over a century, providing security east asia, economic been built.
there is idlogical aspect we termst discussed a lot in of china has a full alternative model on offer. the technology piece in particular, joe, i'll finish on this, i think there are number of things that we can and should do. the discussion to date has been almost all about things we're to change in terms of chinese behavior. hinese behavior in terms of purchasing u.s. goods and services, which is positive, chinese behavior not undertaking steps which are unfair and the economic global economic sphere good. we have had almost no discussion in comprehensive way about what this side to do on in order to meet a challenge hich as jack describes is coming from in many ways pure scientific and technological competitor. discussion i'd like to see us have and it has number of it does involve comprehensive, private
think aboutffort to and act on ways to enhance our technologies. all right. it does involve example of that, artificial intelligence, obama report put out two reports in 2016 on for this. i haven't seen a follow-up on it. the follow-up i did see was in spring of 2017, china it ed similar strategy that is acting on. walter will talk about research nd development, fundamental research and development expenditures by the united states and support for research institutions, research universities. we, you know, decades ago, were terms of in r&d and gdp, we are now number 12, that has not going the right direction. picked up by private sector, but it is not the same thing, i don't think going forward. i do think we need to bring science back to the center of our thinking and our policy
making. we just had a director of office nd science technology took two years to get somebody in that job and there isn't focus on science. my tenure asret in national security advisor, not to have established assistant to for technology policy inside the nfc, running the process, everyday michelle, as know, these problems we face aspects to gical them increasingly and bandwidth issues and confidence issues we to address, i think in the policymaking. just a couple things to finish why the united states, i think history look back and say why the united states didn't major infrastructure program when we borrow money at heap rates and can invest in pretty certain returns and haven't done any of that. cut ent $2 trillion on tax last year. and the last is two things that last things., two one is that a national effort to meet what we know are going to the labor market implications
of the technology we're developing. intelligence, robotics and technologies coming down the line. if you spend as much time with c.e.o.s and business conferences is where business is going. the to get additional efficiencies and we haven't had it all, set of discussions about who is the work impact of technologies, as company, government, what are we going to it, last seem like a small one, it is important. congress needs to take a leadership position here, as ell. in 1995, the congress disarmed itself in terms of technological advice and disestablished office of technology assessment. it is a small institution, didn't save much money. was part of the gingrich mid-1990.n in the nobody here is old enough to remember that. but we really need good advice.
was really on display during the facebook hearings. where congress really needs to have objective can go lity advice they to on things like that, deeper issues like the ones we are talking about today. thanks. >> that makes a lot of sense. for leads me to a follow-up jack about the strategy, which i tom. you were eluding to, when people say we're in a new cold war with china, the trouble analogy with a bad the soviet union, we had almost no rade and almost scientific or social exchange. ith china, we have more trade than apparently we want and we 300,000ve something like chinese students in american back sities and a lot of and forth among the elites at level of the labs. as tom pointed out, on
investments and economic behavior with companies, we've sifius, taking that much more seriously. ut an awful lot of technology transfer occurs in human minds, don't have to steal this, you just work in a lab at cal back to shingua and take another job. kifu liaison, back and forth between chinese and do we n companies, what do about that? as fluid as you say, be trying to restrict intellectual property by restricting who can work in american companies or tech or mit o cal mellon?egie >> can i offer quick answer? >> please. > quiz we gave is how many
languages are spoken at open ai. too many to come up with reasonable answer. he languages include chinese and russian, why is that? willnk it is because nerds go for nerd thing over nationalism. he like if you have the greatest opportunity to develop the most significant technology part of a m and be team, that gets to change the nature of science, i think you that above a particular sort of nationalistic mind set. ai goal is make sure ai benefit all of humanity. some aspect of all of humanity working on that is essential to it. it provides motivating message that if you have enough of progressive with regard to science, you can ark tract people from believe and i don't we've suffered in terms of technology transfer point of view. a point about ke
what tom said and grotesquely oversimplify it. what you are talking about is problem of ullies versus nerds, right? in high school, you had like some theys and they like beat up nerds and the nerds went home and read books. pretty well later in life and the bullies had a pretty terrible time. the u.s. is doing now is mostly bullying and not being nerdy enough. needs to be some robust behavior, but in the bsence of the u.s. going home and like hitting the books in he evening, it has no chance here. >> well, that was the purpose of the end.at and it is a fair point. this issue, joe, of personnel, people back and we have a tremendous amount and the book points this out.
tremendous amount of back and forth in terms of shared engine between united states and china artificial ent of technology and a lot of technologies. there are intelligence nter issues and presents challenges for research universities, i think. get this right. cutting ourselves off completely is a mistake, right? issues, there are legitimate intelligence issues, challenge.ous one statistic i saw last week of that last year the number foreign students studying in the united states decreased by 6.5%, biggest decrease since 9/11, not a great trend for us. michelle. >> and by contrast, we have, we are failing to invest in the we need. in the technical fields. not only sort of even absent any application, rity we are not focused on stem and investing in
access to stem education the way should. but where we do have talent, making it easy for that talent to go between the the rcial sector and government or national security the r and i think one of things we need to be doing for back to tom's thing about what right for us, is is to be happening much more out of the box about creating pathways, so maybe we need a which n version of rotc, says, you know, we'll pay for your college or graduate school technical field if you come and spend sometime with the government first. to the can go off commercial sector and then we'll create a pathway for mid-career who want to work on the mission that matters to come do nother stent at more senior level in government. we are going to figure out, i night with r last
general, the head of cyber command, we were talking about talent channel challenges cyber command and nsa have and the ideas is creative leveraging talent that is outside the government. should we have a different kind f reserve where you don't have to wear military uniform or pass remove fitness test, your tattoo, and, and, and, you can hack for your country on the weekends. if you can't get security clearance, use a different set use the but still talent to develop the tactics and procedures and problem-solving that you need. we are not being innovative and at our best in terms of how we we have and how we develop more. >> and there is also the point we become too restrictive, we cut off new sources of that talent. saw a figure recently that a third more than a third of valley start-ups in the
last decade were started by asia.rants from so in that sense, to be too would be toon that, basically cut off talent that we need. it is a strategy right, i tarted out with the pendulum becoming too hysterical or complacent, getting the point in not easy. is >> we won't get it right unless we have the missing piece, the are going to do to meet the challenge. >> right. >> we're going to throw it open the audience, we have 15 minutes left in this panel and time that nick allocated for audience q&a, so to you, who would like to ask a question. anyone? holly. -- yeah.a
professor, i'm ali, with the rand corporation. we talked about the ai arms race, long-range competition between the united states and china, how do we measure win would it mean to win in an arms race if there is we define ng, how do the term? >> tom, you want to start? with quick n, each answers go down the line. definition ifferent in each sector, right, you know? michelle can o give a lot more depth than i can. with respect to the military the ability to continue to maintain the role we pacific to western provide basically the platform around which you can have peaceful economic and social development. i think that is a first piece to it. it is you know, important for the united states to maintain technological leadership in the world. years, ali, we have garnered tremendous prosperity security and strength from
our leadership in these areas and maintaining leadership i very important for us. we should measure ourselves against that. how dow that unilaterally, versus in cooperation is the today.e're talking about but not to take the steps to maintain leadership would put in united states disadvantage position, unnecessarily in my view. of the o net assessment united states assets and liabilities come to the conclusion, united states if it decisions maintain position as leading country in the world going forward, have to them piece by piece. i think also is important for us focus on our i'd logical world.ition in the we have a situation, i think democracy in the united states under t generally is maybe most severe assault since of 1930s from variety sectors and strengthening that essence, our
continuing to do that through civic education and critical is another important part going forward. >> jack. >> briefly. i think to win, you need to know what the race course looks like. currently we don't have ability to make good judgment about the infrastructure. i'm pulling anecdotal data from ai to tell you about competition between nations, i think that is wildly insignificant and. agree with tom, we need better decision-making capacity to otherwise s stuff, you are going to pick something arbitrary and that is probably dangerous things can happen. > i think in winning in military sphere beyond geopolitical point tom made, really in the ai sphere, will down to speed, it is quality of situational awareness, speed of decision and of execution and if competitor becomes much better we ll of those things than
are, the deterrence will break aggression or sk conflict. >> michelle, i have to ask you for is implication of that the third offset, which was the rgument in the defense department near the end of the we haddministration that always been able to offset oppone opponent's military capabilities by having technological edge and bob talked about nuclear edge precision and stealth in the '70s and '80s and would be deas we rying to keep ahead with a third offset and should be working on the third offset. arki and highed of degree of integration make idea of third offset obsolete? >> not at all. i think it reinforces the importance and although it is third offset ed
strategy anymore, every administration has to rename the and put in a new brand, it is what the department doing and what secretary mattis has tried to do particularly in what will come out in the 2020 budget toward much more robust investment in some key technologies, it will -- it is technological investment is very important for the united states to be able to offset what will be quantitative dvantages and home theater advantages for a country like deal with had to conflict in asia in their backyard. quickly make one point? i feel i should represent sort of view from silicon valley in aspect of this question. there are two types of winning here. where you haveg, superior exquisite military capability and that is fine,
you probably get to it is by having stuff that an operate like faster loop in more integrated way than your opponent. you need to stuff, test against real data to see itt happens and i think that is worth bearing in mind if you toe race dynamic which leads you fielding like who can have increasingly ith integrated decision capabilities need to are empire cally tested have theoretical guarantees, if you win, something dangerous might happen win. you we really don't want that to happen. i think there is another path for should the u.s. invest more in the actual and ology infrastructure substrate which this sits on, it could create technology that robustness and explainability and guarantee you can have competition which most human to risk life in the process. i thought i should represent
view. >> tom, do you want to add on that? >> no, go ahead. >> okay. shot.r yes? >> hi. jule dutry from the wilson center. i have a question. something that tom mentioned at the top, the rules of let's say rules of war. can you actually come up with viable way of creating any rules of competition when you countries that do not look at human rights or civil government, the way the united states does? i think so tis incumbent on us to do that. we have two very different systems. we are in a new phase of competiti competition. some of it, it matters a lot. beginning, the whether you win the races will make a big difference. as jack said, i think who gets the lead in some of these
technologies will make a big difference on standard setting ethics and the risks that we face. rules. to set a set of prince malmanagement challenge overnited states and china the next, name the number of decades, half century to the century, will be to manage this relationship and not have inevitable toward conflict and this will be areas compete, there will be areas where we will engage and try to force behavior changes on either side like i think correctly on the economic areas we here will be need to work together. there are number of issues in be world that can only solved through international cooperation and it will be ncumbent on leadership in the united states and china to find the areas of areas of cooperation. like in all great power relations that become this
never faced one, i don't think, joe, as complex as this frankly. a mix and i ind the that is really maybe principal strategic challenge for u.s. leadership in the coming century. i might add, joe, that ideological differences don't prevent agreement on rules of the road. ideological, deeper differences with the soviet union in the cold war than with the chinese today. were able to sign very number of arms control nonproliferation reaty, even things like the agreement which restrict the way instants. in terms of it is plausible to think of self-interestt of rules of the road, even with differences.ical >> one point beyond the bilot ral rules we can negotiate. know your ou
competitor won't accept certain valuable s still very to build as much international consensus around ai norms or norms or what have you as possible because if there is a iolation, you have the weight of the international community responding, you know, cost costs, imposing punishments for that. there is still value even when reach agreement on bilateral basis. >> i really agree with that, you to situations, credit situation of strength, right? you know. has a lot of tes strength in these situations and it is ncipal one, alliances. the style of leadership over the to build ass to try michelle said, large groupings certain ies pursuing bulwark against threats, be forcing mechanism, behaviors, so we
on't be able to do that, though, unless we do build out our strength and in particular, act togetheret our economically and technologically -- when we could get >> okay. ] the norms ible build suggest already happening expect, for would example, with the chinese scientists, with the hiv baby, post-doc at standford, unfortunately. a sledge hammer came down on him china and there aren't good editing.around gene i was surprised by that. my question to you on the panel, the technical decoupling, seems like we did the low-hanging fruit. we should tighten export control a little bit, but now what?
it gets really hard because when i talk to folks out valley, they don't want to shut down ai labs in getting good e value out of that. your point to nerds want to cooperate. you are not allowed to to that or have grad students in the from chieshna, big ompanies will koomerate with labs in china and europe. what is next step in decoupling think it is a good idea? >> jack, do you want to start and go to tom? >> i mean, i don't think decoupling is a particularly for what we've done. i think that china is already significant over tours to scientists around the world to set up well-fupded labs there. if we continue to technologically decouple, the challenge does scientific breakthroughs in china and u.s. restricted to small base of
students it chooses to let in from and they are they think it is not a threat. i think that seems intrinsically risky. add?m, do you want to >> i do think that -- i made the decoupling as a statement of fact and i do think we have to think through in basis what it means. the amount of money coming from united states and technological data, any sort of dropping nvestment is to almost zero. we are going to put in place xport control, tighter on technology, bob gates gave good to have the past, mall gard ebben -- garden and high fence around things that matter. we are engaged, as i said arlier, global effort in build-out of 5g to protect the
.s. economic and security interests around the world. i think we're at the front end of it. you raise a good point. i don't think we fought through fact, it iss, but as what is happening. >> michelle. > i think we need a very dispassionate systematic end to end approach looking at where is cooperation fun and good thing and in interest and for humanity and of where do we need to be clear-eyed and say this will risk toational security the united states and to allies if we are not careful. the kind of his is topic that the new commission hat has been set up, national commission on ai will get after. it will get aftera tom's agenda, doing to d we be better compete. bring ope it will help nuance to this question of wroo is collaboration found and where careful d to be more thap we have been. you have people, everyone from
schmitt to bob work, former deputy secretary of defense who the issues ar on working on the commission. somepe is they can provide better answer to your question. >> we're ready for the next question, veryck quick. >> sure. -- like to ask >> wait for the mic. >> oh. thank you. yeah, greg allen from center for new american security. talked about u need for massive scale of change. you were talking specifically bout the references of percentage of gdp that we spend on research and development, hat you are calling for major transformation. i think that is in line with what china is talking about and companies refer to transformation required for ai. panel about the need to not panic and not panic relationship with china. my question, what are credible paths to transformation of the
and the rnment transformation of the u.s. society that provide percentage changes that scale are not induced by sputnik like of nt or some other cause national panic? how do you induce amount of change you want without calling of national nd panic? >> the answer to the question is leadership. sputnik e do need the moment was in context of late 950s of the cold war and induced by a lot of fear, falling behind ideological competitor. have a different kind of compote torhere and i do think need need, greg, we sputnik moment in the united states. think things i laid out with respect to what we're going to do in order to advance and futureal prowess are pretty urgent, frankly. infinitely ack knows more about this than i do, as do you. develop now are extraordinary and so the of ance in terms
technological development of the course of single administration, five-year e, four or period, it is extraordinary and things that might have been are irrelevant now. i don't think we should, i think we should address the chinese from strategic relationship and position of strength, i feel deep sense of on the missing piece here, which is the piece about what we're going to do to technological balance. i think it is actually odd we sputnik elt this as moment and it is odd when we alk about china, china-u.s. relationship is most important strategic thing we're doing in the world, we haven't had this urgent priority. >> we're alas going to have to end there. notice several other questions, but i can't indulge them because we're on to our panel and nick runs a tight shop. coming up on the stage, our next group. please thank our first panel. [applause]
and military future. i thank greg for being here. panel. the second first panel focused on the china challenge. you heard from them. panel focuses on a different challenge. chapter written by walter isaaskrshgson. biographer and student and expert on science and technology. walter says that what made merica great technologically from the manhattan project all the way through to this decade says mbination, he innovation triangle, virtuous of federal government believing part of obligation to fund science research, long-term research. the federal government ought to be working with our research universitys to be working with the third point in the triangle, our companies to logy innovate and to encourage companies to develop as happened
'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '90s and into this century. walter says that is broken down. data points from walter's argument to get this conversation started. r&d spending shrunk over past decades. leader and tom mentioned this, the united states ranks 12th in government-funded r&d as percentage of gross domestic product. declined over g 0.8% of gdp, 1.2 and 0.8 in 2016. here is another way to look at this, this problem. 1960s, aroundn the r&d federally funded with 30% from the private sector. reversed.gures are finally, this is chiky of i had to draw
attention to it. he said in president trump's 5000 tweets, over the last two the , barely a mention of world science and technology. just to illustrate the problem we're in. a hybrid all-star, panel here of people who have actually participated at each the triangle in the federal government and the the private and in sector. ed by our good friend sylvia matthews burwell of long standing. of american university, former director of the office of management and of et, former secretary health and human services, former senior official at the senior undation, former corporate official. sylvia has had direct experience all points of the triangle and sylvia burwell will speak
first. friend, doug beck, doug is vice president for the asia for of northeast pple and reports directly to tim cook. doug is hybrid because doug is is l reserve officer and he a combat veteran of iraq and fghanistan, someone with deep appreciation for our university system. speak second. our good friend chris brose, a member of and valued the aspen strategy group. chris was a lot know him from director for the senate armed services committee for ccain.an john m chris saw this problem as the congress thought about national ecurity, but chris is now head of strategy in the tech world, in the government world. definitely not least, but last, is richard
dansick, physics lab. ichard former secretary of the navy. all of these people have seen the problem from ground up, from positions and sylvia burwell, how do you answer walter's challenge? triang cell vation no longer functioning. we're falling bhienld, 12th in the world in r&d spending, what to that?swer >> thank you, nick. i will add my name to the list nye, on taught by joe that long list. and i just want to make three answering that question. one about how do we get to a better place in terms of solving the weakening of those three entities working together. a point on context and third point about the universities and about history of how we thought about the role in a slightly different way. say, how do would we get to a different place. i think it is about
the itization that conversation just ended with that we need to make this issue about research our national and interest and national security. it needs to be a priority in way hasn't. one way to do that that i think akes a difference is actually being clear about what is it we're trying to achieve and entities, the private sector, universities and government, what role is each often there and are shared roles, but how much, how much responsibility, but articulated early way so that the partnership can goals, n with the same and knowing what role each is supposed to play and a couple suggestions. national defense strategy, making this a core part of our make al defense strategy, this a core part of national security strategy and then also thinks about making this happen throughout government. the office of science and putting y policy is
together its overarching strategy for the entire and federal n government, this is a core element. y articulating the different parts and strategies that touch on this, strategic objective all and then ough more clarity about what the ctual roles are of the differing parts and pieces, including how much funding for from the u want federal government? the second thing is context is important. certainly isn't a conversation about the shutdown and current state that we're in budget issue tis important to reflect on them. the numbers nick mentioned, the mentions are part of broader context of declining on nondefense discretionary and as percentage gdp. similarly for defense. and so as we think about solving this problem and how you're going to solve it, if resources rom the federal government are
a part of it, one needs to shrinking at context nondefense discretionary and that is where the research money ould be, shrinking as a percentage of gdp and a context our debt payments continue to rise, that has to do with the that we have and context where because we have an lder generation coming through the pipeline, both social to rity and medicare entitlements continue to grow. o it is a very important contextual point as one considers resources. about oint, as we think this relationship of the entities from university erspective, one of the things this strategy approach i think is important because it is also about signalling to the universities, not just about giving them resources, it is about signalling. and the ersities today current situation where i would be the first to say that the conomics of higher ed are
troubling and in terms of inflation that is higher than on consistent basis, that is difficulty. universities are looking for those funds in the research space, they are being pressed more and more for applied research. thated to produce students are job ready and produce research that is ready to make something now. will be an lling important part, we think about theersities, thinking about university role in three different ways. produce, esearch we what is the research you want us doing as universities? is it that society needs in terms of what is that research? how much applied that will be quickly aa plyd and how much basic research. thing, we are producing people that will implement this policy, the students that are coming is our whether it school of international service or our college of arts and in computer science, we are producing the students that this.ing to do
so understanding what that strategy is, is important to how e are educating the students and the third area and i don't think this is traditionally, we thought about it, as we talk arki and other things, the role that the university has in informing the and sector, things like ethics, nai, and the work that needs to be can be done in a university setting. follow-up, k a quick sylvia? beginning of this session, eric lander from cambridge, massachusetts. he said because of what you just talked about, we're risking rivacy in science and technology, that we had since the second world war. dunford, general chairman of the joint chief, we're risking military uperiority, what he was essentially saying the development of technology is so platform systems that dominate now might be obsolete
now.ars from in other words, not protecting ur seat if you think about it that way. tom gave us a lot of thoughts, what would institute a national strategy? do you agree with him that the president, president trump, successor need's to create a vision for private sector university government should do? >> yes. i think it is -- it is about saying what is it we're trying what are we d doing? i think the china conversation probably got into how the think about it in terms of how they define where they are going with regard to of superiority and with regard to the question of that they are willing to make against this. imilarly, as a nation, we need that kind of leadership in terms of here is what our objective is we are going and thinking about things differently. he question i would raise also about the nimbleness point you raise. how should one divide the
responsibilities? how should universities become more nimble or should we depend sector? the private which i'm sure doug will speak about in terms of thinking percentage of what role and what qualities do andersities, the government the private sector bring to the problem? i think we all need to step back how do we help do what we do best in each of the laces and if we need to do things better. the president, the nation as a whole, saying this is a priority, and i think we alla know whatever you do in your life, you know if you make it a priority, that is generally how you get things to happen. >> thank you. great to have you with us. doug spoke in august at our onference and has been a big part of this. >> so thanks, nick. to be huge honor for me here. such august company. first, you know, going back to
that walter made in book. i silicon valley in which work, which is without any innovative e most disruptive engine of innovation the world. and that silicon valley was ompletely built on the shoulders of the innovation triangle walter is talking about. today's silicon valley completely rests on that. physically rests on it. new, our new beautiful apple ampus, apple park, was literally built on a site that used to be an hp campus a long ago that was directly part silicon hase of valley's history. e very clearly live right on engine hat and yet the
of innovation that is there, we're barely scratching the believe, for t, i our topic of national security. think from my other lens. nd so actually back in i think 2014, when i was involved in ome conversations that ultimately led to the creation f the defense innovation unit, out in california, and then in ustin and boston, one of the points that i made then was that the ould argue that relationship between silicon china, not the government, but chinese companies, and china in general, tighter than the relationship with the defense epartment and that the relationship that the defense department had with other was arys around the world
arguably a lot tighter than the elationship that the defense department had with silicon valley. ow the good news is a lot has happened since then and we're going to hear from secretary bit later, all the work that he put in and ecretary mattis continues and secretary shannahan is continuing, done a lot on that. good news with defense innovation unit, we have an weassy, the bad news is that need one. and that is still an issue. nd so i think there is some structural and cultural issues that are behind this. culture thinking about quickly first. two worlds.live in and i am literally the only some of my friends know who served in combat. much less in
and i'm also the only person, changing, many people get off active duty and move to the technology sector, in the my friends military know who live in the world that i live in on basis.me and i'm constantly struck by the of misunderstanding that xists between those two groups and the depth of misinterpretation that's the lenses with one another's motivation and decisions. if you drill into that a the -- it even gets down to things that are so simple as how you dress. wearing one of my uniforms today, one that i wear essentially never, except when -- >> i barely recognize you. >> except when i'm here in funeral.n or at a
[laughter] -- but what is interesting, you know, in the jeans.we wear and some people even wear flip-flops. don't, but others do. doesn't way of dressing say sloppy or disrespectful, which is what it would say to my friends from the pentagon. that way of dressing says unincumbered, focused on what matters, not what doesn't. innovative, open. by the way, wearing a suit says the exact opposite. when the two groups come together, before they even tart, they are overcoming cultural differences that are pretty profound and that really in the way of the kind of collaboration that we need. said, there are some misinterpretations that
this i'm speaking to audience right now, i think it may be worth bringing out. all, there is there may be misinterpretation that in the valley out and other technology hubs, don't public ut serving the good and that couldn't be further from the truth, one reason i ended up working in the valley, for apple, is because i found a group of people who woke everyday and believed that what they were doing was trying better the world a place. and that was what motivated people. more than any of the other things that you might think people.e those and so i feel very at home there with both my hats. think it is misinterpretation to think patriotic.'t i just, that couldn't be further truth.e when my friends are and the eople i know are universally
supportive of my service, when we hold events, we bring people senior military folks out to visit, they are packed. care deeply. is a hink that misinterpretation. it is also a hat partial understanding to say that people are -- wouldn't be interested in working on incredibly important problems related to national security. think jack said, what a lot of the people in the alley care about most is working on the hardest problems and i might flip what jack said, they care about working on problems and may not be as tied to nationalism. other hand, i think if you can give somebody something that is one of the hardest connect it to something that is more greater han themselves, like the
greater good of the nation, a lot of people would find that incredibly profoundly attractive. it's also i think a -- would be these very, very global companies, even the most lobal, are as global as some ht think they are in their ethos at least. is company, vast majority of design and ip, in the united apple would not exist without the united states and we feel that very profoundly. and last, maybe on that point, i it would be a mistake to the valley or the tech sector in general is because it really isn't. silicon valley
and boston and austin and everywhere else, second, brought companies with different business models. ome of them are product companies, like the one that i ork for, where the most fundamental point is that individuals and institutions with o trust that device their most private data. fundamentally are built with business models around using that data and the infinite tailoring of experience based on that data and that data. based on that create very, very different erspectives and that is why apple is different point of view on privacy than facebook does. very different. so it is not monolithic. so there is a lot there that is opportunity k, an to for us to build on. do i have time to do couple of
on what may we do about that? >> can we come back to that? that.actly back to i want to get chris and richard into the conversation. action e back to your plan. >> chris, you recently made transition from the government enate armed services committee to the tech sector. how do you see based on what how a and doug have said, do you see this challenge? >> yeah. great. you guys can hear me. two months i e spent in american technology has just deepened the opinions i years through nine working in the united states senate. and i'll explain that. i think about kind of innovation, i look at less how much money going into federally funded research and money is the ch government spending to take really great research evelopment science and technology and turn it into large-scale technology products, companies, operational capability and i think that is where we fall down and that is concerned about.
so when i think about the triangle, i don't know if it is or whether the private, i divide the private piece up into people who build technology investors in technology. and i think that right now, you basically have all of our incentives misaligned. o the government, you know, really since the end of the cold war, hasn't had a clear idea of do, what its to strategy is and specifically oming out of that, what actual technology it cares about more than others. o what you get, you know, in the investment community is risk averse capital that will go and the moneyy is has more often been in ad optimization or cat facial software, not next-generation hyper sonics or of operationalization artificial intelligence. so when we scratch our head and minds why all of the best in american technology are doing d optimization rather than
working for the department of defense, there are huge financial incentives that good n, i think in pretty degree of clarity why that is. and then i think, you know, on end of that, in terms of technology you get, you know, surprised that the divide has grownup the way the u.s. government, the department of defense in particular, thinks about in technology as making large amounts of very if you are doing something really exciting in the we will give you 500,000 to do more and more. it never goes anywhere. you have a situation like we have today, where since the end are two ld war there count them, companies that began as start-ups focused on national that have become ulti billion dollar companies, pallen tier and space tech. biotechnology, consumer are dozens inhere
all of the different areas, so two, both ofere are them founded by billionaires, they had to fight their way over any years into the federal market place and ultimately sue their customers to get a fair hearing. i think, you know, to me tis like that is the bad news, is that we ood news have all of the raw material to do this and be successful, we ust need to think about realigning our incentive. the u.s. government needs to clarity gh degree of what it cares about more than other things. it needs to be willing to put big bets on those things. this isn't rocket science, this before. the end or beginning of the cold war, the united states said, i want weapon on the other side of the planet in a matter of minutes and we bet on people, right? we bet on benny shreverto do that. industry partners with deliver and put huge amounts of money into that. we need to do that thing again
say we're going to do things we want to do and prioritize the technologies that we say that are more important than others. large amount of little bets that every go anywhere and start concentrating we on the things we say care about more than other things, which is something that the national security has been n community reluctant to do for. if you start doing that, it come as a surprise that some of those things are them to fail, many of will, some will succeed, when they succeed, they will succeed big. succeed big that, risk averse capital will start saying, hold on, there is money in massive $$700 bill yob entity. companies, kids sitting around doing interesting work for facebook or google will going to live my dream of becoming next generation national security contractor,
start putting together autonomous systems in my garage, that is what i want do and i can make billions doing it. ut again, the government needs to be prime mover in this, needs o know what it wants, what it views is more important than other things and put real money and picking winners, being able to say we have developed something that is going to change the way american national security exists. crazy idea, but this is, i'm pretty sure, how it works in the world i now in heaven. when elon musk said, i want to go to mars and i need to develop -- 200 peoplets probably walked in and said, i want to reinvent national security space. he got the investment. he became a billionaire because they bet on people.
we need to start vetting on people. i think it is what private industry does every day. they bet on jeff bezos and elon musk. and amazing people do amazing things. they solve amazing problems. i think we just need to figure out where our area of maximum impact is and start putting real money toward that, rather than chasing things that i would argue our less important. >> thank you, chris. really helpful in drawing this connection of where we need to go. when we began to think about this subject and plan our conference, condi rice and i who thoughtchard, deeply about this issue as a foreign policy intellectual, but also has been in the government. richard, what is your sense of this big problem?
richard: doug began by saying what a great honor it is to be on this panel and i want to reinforce that. greg was a young student of his. we are all students of greg burns. i say this in praise of my co-panelists. reinforce their description of the problem, but then i want to argue that you shouldn't really listen to them. though this is a real problem, it is distracting from a much more fundamental problem. it is as misleading as it is beneficial. the reason i want to reinforce it is because basically it is right. it is a right description of the world. the basic perception that week shifted from a government dominated seen to a commercial one. , thelas and his book digital age, published in the 1990's, says, when photographers
wanted to invent new technologies or have new technologies, they invented them themselves. they made new film. they thought of new ways of designing lenses. they made their own world. ,e then goes on nicely to say nobody thinks that actors invented television. the technology out ran the desire of the actor, and the actor had to adapt to that. , those of us who have worked in the pentagon in the last quarter of the 20th century, we were all photographers. the coming of gps, the internet, the semiconductor industry, these were all driven by smart people in the pentagon. and now the world is quite different. now we are all television actors. the commercial world is not
driving hypersonic, but the point is right. the reason i say it is distracting is these comments truly distract us from the fundamental problem. which in my opinion is not one of a relationship between industry and the government. it is one of assimilation. the problem is not one of what doug described as the permeable membrane of industry and government. it is the autoimmune response in government to these new technologies. this was touched on in the last panel. let me take as my one example the artificial intelligence discussion that dominated the previous. is the problem of artificial intelligence that these systems
of machine learning are not available to the pentagon or accessible? they are wildly so. providingmpanies are information in these areas. the problem is that when we look at the other side, the ability to assimilate, on the personnel side, i don't see substantial numbers of people in the uniformed military service capable of understanding this in a way that private companies would especially value. the number of people who are good at artificial intelligence probablyous way is accountable on the fingers of both hands. that is way too small. and our personnel system hugely discourages them. you cannot get promoted to the higher ranks.
even those people who are extraordinarily good, we push out of the services because the private sector says, we will give you real responsibility. it is easier for the armed services to respond by saying, this is an external problem, and not to come to grips with this. everybody says about artificial intelligence, data is crucial. the armed services generate huge amounts of data. what do they do with it? essentially, they throw it away. they don't label it. they don't retain it. this is not a problem of the .xternal relationship are third is the question of strategy. it is easy to take artificial intelligence and use it to do all things in new ways.
it is not easy. it is still a challenge. but it is much harder to rethink what you are doing and why. in aant to have carriers world in which they will be locatable to improve sensors and artificial intelligence. my messages, this is an attractive proposition because it is true, meaningful, relevant, important. but from the standpoint of the core military bureaucracy, it is externalizing the problem. it avoids the core issues. encourage, not just a panel like this, but a panel that talks about the core issues. nicholas: richard asked to speak last, and now we know why. he has been able to take the subject of this book and project us forward and ask the tough questions about innovation inside government itself.
you've identified a key question. we're going to take questions. doug, you had an action list. can you give us that? : so, i actually want to go to this permeable membrane that my friend and mentor, richard danzig, just mentioned. agree completely with everything you just said about what the core issue is, i think the permeable membrane to both ideas and talent is not only the short solution to getting things flowing, but actually a major part of the long-term solution to that problem. all, we simply have to for the bestr ideas and concepts to flow from
the private sector into the national security world. today, if you are a large .i. of all the.o work you have to do, the risk you potentially take on, and the paperwork you've got to do to effectively serve federal government, it dwarfs -- the is difficult to make the math work compared to anything you could do with that same technology. if you are a small company, it may be impossible to take on. organizations like the defense innovation unit were created to help make that easier and are doing a great job, but we still have this issue of what i call the catchers mitt. when you take the great ideas
and have to get them to scale. that is where they hit the antibodies you talked about, where we lose a lot. nicholas: these defense innovation units were established by secretary ash carter to the outposts of the pentagon. here he is, right here in austin, texas, palo alto, mountain view, and cambridge, mass. right up your alley. so everyone has that information. is,: so then the question how do we -- i think it goes back to the culture. how do we become a more permeable membrane for talent that ultimately creates an environment in which we have a much better catchers mitt for those ideas? a couple of concrete things we ought to do. somethingneed to make like this far more desirable.
just like we had a hard time making joint something which is desirable until we forced it, we need to make this much more desirable. today, while we get a lot of the best talent there, it is hard. those people are taking a risk with their careers. they have to leave the real work they do to go off and do this thing that people don't necessarily understand for a wild. that has implications for the way we think about things like kinds.on and other we have to make it more desirable. we have to do a better job of leveraging the people we already have with native fluency in the environment. that is the birthright we have in this country. in the same way that we have such a strength in this country because we have people who grew up speaking native languages in
other countries. we need to do a better job of finding the ones we already have, leveraging them effectively, and making more of them by catching more of the ones who want to leave active duty to go into the technology sector. them byking more of sending more people from active duty through programs like the sector of defense fellows fellowship, toe send people out into the private sector and bring them back. like the defense innovation unit, that is potentially risky for an officer's career. about flowd to think in the other direction. things like defense digital service. how do we scale that? how do we make sure the right companies know about it, so it is not just the same usual suspects? that is something that i think a lot of people in places like
silicon valley would love to be part of. if we figured out a way to work with industry to make it more effective. this is a list of things. ,e need to do more to make that ,o make the permeable membrane to ultimately deal with the antibodies you talked about. nicholas: great. thanks to these incredible panelists. questions from the audience for this panel? everything is crystal clear, right? >> you might emphasize that you will take questions from people. nicholas: we take questions from people who have not been our students. greg is the exception there. i am a professor. i'll just ask more questions. as we move forward, give us a sense, how is the trump administration doing in trying
to achieve clarity of national purpose, reach out from the united states government to the academic community, research, as well as the private sector, in both recognizing the problem and trying to tighten this innovation triangle so we can move forward? the last panel said we are in a major competition with china. it started and we may not be leading. who would like to assess the trump administration or just give some advice? chris? chris: everyone is looking at me. years what i would say. building on my comments about students, richard reminded me of a great lesson. answer the question you want to answer rather than the question you were given. nicholas: but please answer my question. chris: i will answer your question just like i answered the first time.
one thing the administration has done well inside the national security space is, i think the national defense strategy has gone a long way to sharpening and clarifying what our priorities should be. say, theseilling to are things that are more important than those things. these are priorities that we need to identify, and in particular, great power, competition, building off the work secretary carter did. this needs to be the national priority. so, what operational problems do we need to solve if we say these are the things we care about? that i think a lot more has to be done on. it is only in doing that, that you begin to understand, can you solve this problem the same old way, and the answer is no, and how could you actually employ these new technologies to create competitive advantage again, and
i think that is work that has yet to be done, that still needs to be done, and it is only once you define those problems that you can begin to say, i now need to go out and put bets on the following technology areas that are going to be important for us. to call on'm going richard in a minute. secretary mattis, in that strategy report, since 9/11 until that time, the government said three administrations, bush, obama, and trump, that combating terrorism was the number one national priority. secretary mattis said that is important, but competition from russia and china is now the focal point. that was a big shift. maybe it had been underway for a while, but he declared it. richard? richard: just want to offer a general perspective. i think there's much to
criticize the trump administration over, a lack of emphasis on science, lack of clarity about particular technology initiatives and the like, but i think our general proposition ought to be, we ought to ask ourselves first, what can we do within the context of what exists, and not externalize the problem to the trump administration, or china, or industry before we do that? ai,he example i gave about the personnel system is not something that the white house issues strategy declarations about. it is up to the internal organs of the military to deal with that. the collection of their data and the labeling of it is not something that the national strategy will speak to in ways that are material. it is relevant, what is happening with regards to self driving cars and the like, but
no amount of data on self driving cars is ultimately going to inform the military equation. i disagree with some of the speakers in the last panel when they talk about how china's commercial accumulation of data will affect the military world. there's some influence, but military data is rather different from civilian data. we ought to try and get through the tendency to talk about the but comelicy issues, to grips with what we can do ourselves. nicholas: i want to bring you back in. you have had these diverse experiences. if you were in government today, how would you think about where we should go? takeactually would richards point, but do an and. richards point is a very important one. increasing the nimbleness, your ability -- i think what richard is talking about is the ability
to embrace, use, and be part of a future that is technology driven in whatever sector you are in, is important. think about do is the tools, think about how we use digital services. to bring in people from industry and sector to change that. you bring them in and they are part of the change internally. it is important. what is it we need to change? what can i change? what can i change at the defense department? what can i change at the state department? how can i change hhs? at the same time, the way you do that change and get some of that change, is through strategic prioritization. saying, this is important. it will be rewarded. it is a priority for what we are
trying to achieve. i think it is the combination of the things together that would be important. the one thing i would question, in chris' analysis, which i appreciate, is, who is going to make the contribution to basic research? in the world you described, that focus on things that go and the scaling -- i agree with you wholeheartedly, there are two ways to think of scale in the world. one is markets. the other is government. i agree with you that government should be the scale play. but i do think we are left with a question of, where does the basic research get done if you take government out of that equation in a real way? we now have people with hands up, but we've run out of time. i would ask you to hold your questions for ash carter. i need to thank silvia, doug,
-- was secretary of defense for president obama. like members of the last panel, is a hybrid person. he has a phd in physics. harvard ascareer at an academic. long career in government. we served together in the bill clinton administration, working on russia and ukraine together. to. carter: i'm embarrassed say i first worked for casper weinberg. nicholas: first worked for casper weinberg. long career in government. now back. we sit about 20 feet from each other. ash came to the conference and gave the first foundational lecture. we call it the earnest may memorial lecture. ernest may was an eminent professor at harvard.
he was a historian of american diplomacy, international politics. he used to come to our meetings. he would always give us the comprehensive framework lecture as we started. how should we think about this problem from a historical perspective? ash gave a lecture which is the first chapter of the book you are going to buy. i wanted to start by asking you to maybe explain that lecture, the points you were trying to make. how have we negotiated this transition, the various transitions as a science and technology power? sec. carter: thanks. good to see everyone here. i'm not in washington very often. already saw a number of friends. i thank and commend you for theme atchnology the aspen this summer. not only because i'm a physicist
and that is what i'm doing now at harvard and m.i.t., but because it is the subject of the day. when i walked out of the pentagon after 37 years from the day i walked in, almost literally to the day i walked ago,wo years and five days i said to myself, i care very much about defending our country, making a better world for our children. i've done that. what is the next crusade? with the is dealing dilemmas that technological change continues to throw up for human life. you see that in the digital world. in a number of ways which i'm
sure we will discuss. i heard doug beck talking about it. i'm sure others as well. if you think that is a mixed bag, and it is, and one of the things i wanted to say was how we can do better in dealing with these digital dilemmas of social media or artificial intelligence and so forth -- if you think that is a mixed bag, think about the bio revolution which is to come. then there is the issue of jobs and training. if too many of our citizens feel that technology is something which is zipping by them with heedless disregard for their own welfare, we are not going to have a cohesive society. on those three areas, digital,
bio, jobs, and training -- i tried to go back in time the way ernest may would have. let me tell you a little piece of that. i am a physicist. and the people who brought me up in physics or the manhattan project generation. they were my mentors and tutors. they had done something. they had invented what we would call today a disruptive technology. the bomb. they were proud of that. it ended world war ii and it kept the peace for 50 dark years of cold war. but they also realized that with danger to existential humanity.
they gave themselves -- and this is richard, edward, sydney, these were the people -- in various ways and politics and so forth, they all devoted themselves to arms control, nonproliferation, missile defense, civil defense. that is, using their inventive minds to soften the impact. what people are telling me is that with knowledge comes responsibility. i gave a little try to defense early on, just as a part-time thing. very much the way doug beck was talking about. that is one of the things i tried to replicate. let people give it a try. life, theat in my own
combination of having a little bit of expertise, so that what -- knew actually mattered the other part of consequence was a magical combination for a young person. i think that is true today. i see it every day. spark, and feel that ultimately that weight, i think we can do a lot better. that was the generation i came into. there was a generation that came after mine which very much informed the digital revolution, which was different, which was more libertarian. i respect that. it was a different generation and a different time. was that good things would come through openness and freedom and liberty and that was the spirit in which the internet grew up. and that was a good thing and i participated in that same as everybody else.
i think we underestimated the dark side. now it is a great thing. it enables commerce and andunity, but also hate darkness and aggression. russia, china, let me keep going. north korea, iran. not to mention all the terrorists. so there's a little strategy for you on one hand. i think there's a lot we can do about those things. can i give you one little example? one example comes from watching the hearings -- let's say the mark zuckerberg hearings on the hill or subsequent tech leaders. my impression of those is that they were a huge missed opportunity.
where,a historic moment had both sides been better prepared and better inclined, we could have made an advance on this nagging problem on our civilization. leaders, industry leaders -- the way i would put it is, got through the news cycle, but aren't going to get through the arc of history with that story. i only wish that they had been as poorly prepared to question me about war and peace as they had been to ask questions. but imagine something different. imagine where everybody had gone in, because the subtext was that some mixture of self-regulation by companies and informed regulation by government, either
antitrust or some other kind, was needed. everybody was kind of saying that, but there was no architecture. 80-20 mix? what are the options? there wasn't anything on the table. the example i want to give of a time when it was better, and ago, something i saw long i think something like it could be rebuilt on the congressional side. it was this. my first thing ever was, those same people said, the thing you have to go to washington for one year and do is this. , buts like ancient history it was what to do with the mx missile. the peak of the cold war. height of the cold war. soviets were building. we thought we needed to match. the question was, what do you do with a big missile?
that will allow it to survive the onslaught of a soviet first strike. that being a necessary consideration. you know the lore. you don't want to have vulnerable weapons, because they are a danger to both sides, because the owner of them has to use them, and they better go first, so forth. it is not a good thing. said, you have to work on it. i worked on that for a year. but nevermind that. the process was kind of interesting. there was an organization -- never mind that, the process was interesting. an organization called office of
at the gy assessment time. never mind that place or thing, ut it had a mechanism this was this. a bipartisan bicammeral board it would work at on, first ingredient. appointed over us, a of physicists, a bunch senior, retired people, senior officials, senior military congressmen ired and senators, people from the states that would be essentially what we were do going to do at the time. our first option. and then we went out and looked t all the options and i mean all the options, moving them trucks, n planes, trains, burying them. options i of the liked at was 14-million foot air the would have been largest air ship since the graph
fly around h would with a missile, imagine that crowd pleaser. it was never built. >> no, no, no. the point was, we looked at all options and gave a respectful hearing, even to things that fringy like that and then the last thing that we stake holder in every y, in the states, member, every industry group, every member and everybody could say they were hurt. hose were four pretty good ingredients. i'd like to see something like that start and then i think we to climb on top of things, whether they be digital, or whether logy, they be hubs and traping, the three baskets. solutions or we'll be in trouble. >> when tom was on before you ago, he said, bring back that office.
>> okay. >> that or something like it? part of the action plan. >> ash, what we've been talking and your the book lecture you gave last august, book, the ter of the relationship sometimes quite troubled between the federal government and the pentagon, the and the tech community. one of your innovations, you lot as about this a secretary of defense, i'm going to send people out, establish necessary silicon valley, in our hometown, boston, cambridge, massachusetts, texas, we'll learn -- >> i would have done more also over time. successful? what would you advise acting to do with annahan the offices? was it sufficient, ambitious enough? account for it? >> i think it's worked out well, i'll tell you why i think that. it is not sufficient. it was one piece of a broader -- the time, that is why i called it diux,
experimental. actually we -- >> defense innovation and experimental. jim, my successor, jim mattis, i've known 25 years, jim credit, or maybe to the credit of the idea and the beck, who are ug working on it, it earned taking but it didn't look that way at first. we stumbled in a few ways at first. and we, a few things didn't work and we had to start over again. trying to meet the boston or austin, i would have done dayton and a few others, halfway. these are people who like me, did the mxted out, i thing, i didn't want to be in government. doing what i ay was doing, which was physics. i was happy to give it a try, i want to live in washington.
turns out it stuck more to me than most. that is okay. that means meeting people both ways. you know, this was the time we snowden, as in overhang. ou can imagine what i think of edward snowden. but you had to agree to disagree things in order to each a point where and you could say to someone, come on and give it a try. overwhelmingly, even skeptical. and i had people in the entagon, i let in the defense digital service, had hoodies on, aviator glasses on their head, earrings, it was difficult for those who look like this or have on, and so we had to e flexible in the interest of building this bridge. so it takes a little flexibility sides.
the digital service and so forth. remember, we spend $80 billion a than all thes more big tech companies combined. and at the same time, we needed o do and it was mentioned by chris, everybody in the last panel. the making that transition, that we're ransition that still embarked on from the era counter terrorism and counter insurgency, which we so focused and i'm as guilty -- i mean, when i was under secretary for 2010, serving in afghanistan, you bet your life preoccupation. you got people fighting, you're all in for them. them. all in for i was spending as much time and dogs, aps sniffing dogs, as i was f-35s like that. yes, it was attractive.
now we got to get back to the here, which is china, russia and so forth. ofspent too long backing off that agenda, i'm glad to see us back in there. was doing that and would continue, i am glod to see it mattis and er jim now acting secretary shannahan. >> thank you. but open up to questions, before we do, one predominant question today and also book, two big s questions. general dunford, chairman of the oint chiefs, you know exceptionally well, eric lander, someone else you know well, have a military and scientific point of view, we privacy.ng our eric lander, as leading science and technology country in the because of breakdown of innovation triangle. the speed with which ai, machine learning,
biotech are ting, proceeding, our current platform theems could be obsolete in generation ahead and we could military ace for superiority. that is everything to us, for american think about foreign and defense policy. do you agree? bell as loud lage as they are? >> i agree. ook, we're great, we're inventive, powerful, got a great legacy, a great install base. competitive world. and obody has birth right these guys, our enemies are on ry and they are focused us. we may say we have russia, iran, north korea, terrorism, critic, as i used to call them, and we do. all have just us. they are all looking just at us. not a birth right.
and that preoccupation i talked about was a distraction in some ways. a little price, i don't know how you measure it. granted, take it for they are out for us. > when you sat with president obama and national security team, but your relationship with that as this something role drove him, that he recognized and wanted to mobilize the u.s. government it?und >> it did. emember, president obama was somebody who was not a echnologist himself, but both generationally and by intellectual inclination interested.lly he evidence that in many ways. followed defense stuff,
of his s to the dismay department closely, some technology things. yeah, he was interested in t and i think was also making that transition in -- i'm glad not one of and i'm these people who believes the whole world changes in every administration, even n the current circumstances, be.ual as this can and so that has been going on, it started then, i'm glad to see it continue, but we got to put our heads down and the other back that we didn't have in the soviet union, nick, and you know that, because, you ambassador and so which was technologically
potent, soviet union was no joke. were serious competitor. did not have an economic relationship with them. and so we have never had a ustained economic relationship with a communist dictatorship and controlled economy. what china is, there is no nice way to say that. soviet he case of the union, we had an impermeable and them.tween us we did not trade with them, remember export control system forth. so it was a different kind of relationship. inextrickably intwined with china economics. harder to create enenclaf and then on top of that, there is so much outside of hich is government, you know, in those
days, anything that happened mattered, happened in america. nd most of that happened under government bucks, neither of those is no longer true. and the hose together government writ over technology as it once as widely did. that and the fact that china has in realtimeantially to the same body of innovation an extra burden on us to be better at that into our public protection. >> thank you very much. so in this year we focus on one big issue a year. emocrats, republicans, independents, nonpartisan, we'll be in asopinion. we'll focus on the u.s.-china and nash has just been talking about that. i think a lot of us feel, almost feels it is the most important challenge we face in half century. we're the two dominant
ocieties, we're competing in a battle of ideas. authoritarian versus democratic technology.le of the race for the next generation of military technology. this also going to have year for the first time, we will be sponsoring and running the security forum, which is he public aspen program in the middle of july. for four days, we'll have a national debate on many of these and u.s.-china, the technology battles, the battles, the xi us, ing is fighting with that is important, too. i can't think anything more we should be discussing. ash will be senior member of all of that. carter.s for ash please and please identify yourself and a mic will come to right now. within 2.3 seconds. you can ask your question. hello, thank you for
your discussion. -- student 2003 graham allison well. professor, as considering that we cannot probably outspend russia and china on defense, i'd like to ask, what can we do to create the right level of overmatch on capabilities? snt and e-capabilities, that is also most affordable economically? >> thank you. science and technology, first of all. -- and i do think clumsy as we can be and i'm embarrassed to say that institution, the defense department still, it is a pretty thatimbieber of technology is out there and our tech sector vibrant. and so i'm not pessimistic at all about others,lity to overmatch just to answer your question.
also, nick, what you say is right.tely united states and china will be the big dogs, but we're not the only dogs around. if you look at asia, rather than hina, china is kind of half of the asian population and economics. say, we don't have a an asia icy, we have policy, we always have, 80 years, nick. american military in the role region which has kept the peace there and that is by that other half. so in addition to being in nologically excellent, addition to spending still quite a lot of money on defense and for it, and in to having spent more money than anyone else for a base, and, our install in addition to being the most experienced military in the
been at wor we've for 15 years, we have all the repds and allies and they have none. so that is a pretty powerful side, which i said, i'm not going to be omplacent, but i'm not pessimistic either. >> if i could add to this, ash time in nt a lot of government working on the relationship with india, i and the george w. bush the obama ion and administration. india, big science and big talent ountry, in the population, commitment to have first-class air force and is our security partner. ash, helped to build that relationship. australia, south korea, treaty allies. you can't just compare china and it is our states, alliance system which held balance of power, as you say, years. questions? yes, sir? >> mr. secretary, i thought you might get a kick out of knowing while you were working on the mx-missile problem, a lot of
advocates. don wilson, i work with foundation nonprofit. teeth on mx missile until we met your folks who ark had submarines we were going to be okay that made s -- >> they are pretty good, too. >> one of the things that has thatobviously or the thing has been an elephant in every room any american policy since 2016, of elephant, terally an is whether or not russia successfully invaded and changed the election in 2016. and as you are one of our most diplomats and you are one of the best defense secretaries we've had the luck wonder what you both think of that proposition and what you think we should do about it. >> well, sure they did. they obviously did.
the evidence is overwhelming they did. enough so obvious not has d.n.a., i don't believe enough was done by the obama dministration and not enough done. we haven't done enough. way, i will say one is -- an attack is attack. a response, even though this is the in between fare little d war it's men kind of version, aggression and so they certainly to influence our politics, not just in the electoral sense, sometimes stirring up gra tuittous division and they
this day.it to that is what i would say, nick. > and i would agree and just say this. putin cannot, the russian match the cannot united states and our canadian, uropean ally necessary central and western europe, they are contained. done?as he developed hybrid strategy, use infiltrate ans to social media, he attacked our electoral system, got into 23 of databases of state electoral system and continues to do it. ample evidence he tried to insinuate himself in his country, dutch, german election in 2015 and a lot of brits think the might have affected brexit vote in june of 2016. it is continuing and i would say has been dent trump blind to admit it. he has not led on this issue. has had the lead.
senator burr and warner in elect committee, we need presidential leadership to raise defenses and as ash said, respond. language putin understands. yes, sir? please. >> edward loose from the financial times. ed.elcome, >> hi, nick. you just been talking about russia, i presume from larger picture in terms of america's if any of america interest, you don't want po in which russia and china are driven together, reverse kissinger and yet that is what is won ning and if trump president, given what you have been talking about, the level of russiaable concern about interference in america and ther democracys, there is antagonism toward russia, from tandablean taggonism any circumstance with donald trump.
so china and russia look closer and get closer together, which is ominous for the evidence and the west. would you prevent that from loosen g or at least int relationship, if you are charge? >> i will take a stab and i think nick probably has a better perspective on that than i do. they have a common interest in antagonistic toward the united states. after that, they don't have much of common interest. and we spent 50, 60 years about soviet chinese soviet condominium and it never happened, so i would say they share an interest in united states e and to the extent their efforts complimentary, they -- we have to divide our assets and our attention between the two of them. have so much else that
same going in the direction. i won't even go through the you know, china is going that way, russia going ways they d so many border uneasy far east and so forth. they share us as an antagonist, i would say it doesn't go much further than that. nick, you know much more about i do.han >> not at all. i will say, it is central now.tion right no question xi jinping and putin re tactical allies, not strategic. the chinese want to limit the power of japan and india in indo-pacific. russians want to limit the power of germany, nato, the e.u. and so they americans and try to put roadblocks in front at u.n. security council and both are using hybrid war are to weaken societys from within. it is considerable tactical
problem, but strategically, ash undoubtedly right. think about russia, i think they russians million living east of the million tains and 300 chinese just below them. china will dominate the far east. this, you have written books about india. they will dominate the commerce far east.gy of the i think ash said something important, we have always seen ourselves, since roosevelt and ruman's time as guarantor of stability in east asia, american military and foreign service japan and korean peninsula, in australia, in asia, guarantor of power. if we hold the position, the to deal with ave us. the russians will be declining 2050 given demographics and unreformed carbon economy. think this is tactical problem now for us,
trategic problem for our kids when they are succeeding ash as do etary of defense, is how you both compete with chinese and hold your position and that competitive e very technologically, militarily and china?you partner with because we need to work with the chinese on climate change, it's failing of the trump administration not to recognize carbon he two largest emitters. joe nye led off his panel saying need to be in balance, both political parties, ours have unbridaled d competition with china. have to o compete, we work with chinese, too. the chinese will see us in a than russia. way they will see us as competitor and also their partner and i think the russians figure into that equilibrium. to further , just unrelieve the gloom.
i worked with the chinese for a long time, as nick did. friends in the pla, and so forth. we cannot have purely i agonistic relationship, agree with nick. i mean, it is not turned out we'd hoped 20 years ago, but chinese evolution has gone the way that we hoped tarting with ping, and -- >> bto under clinton administration. >> values and it hasn't happend have to be wide awake to that fact. he wishes we all had in the 'a 90s for china of the future have not eventuated, pick ourselves up and go on and that to have some motus with them because we do and the world's economy share the world's eco-system and war and even cold war is a
future.ark accounting of it, it sounds sensible and we may get of that. value out little hard to see that with ladamir putin because i always say his objective is purely to frustrate us. magine trying to build a privilege to that motivation? it is a little hard. we have time looking to johna than. two questions in. yes, sir? >> thank you. justin, reporter with inside defense. ecretary carter, just as the man who wrote the last pentagon artificial intelligence policy of ai, obviously a lot of debate around what the
of policies will be, what has changed since you wrote sort ast policy and what of consideration do you think will be taken into account as we set some new barriers? >> yeah, for those who don't know, this is one thing i wrote secretarys the deputy in 2013. when there was no one paying any ai, but we were, and what it says, i think is still basically right. elaborate on it, but i continuing is basically right. nd it is actually a lesson for ai, in general, i think, in deployment in society. said was that as always values to the battlefield as a nation, i make none of y about that, us ever made apology about that. the matter of ai, there be an autonomous use
force, literally autonomous. there would always be a human the decision in to use lethal force on behalf of the united states. that is not the same as manning not like i should say, somebody inside the computer trying to keep up with the computer. it is an athcal and accountable decision, the reason i said imagined myself or the secretary then i was working the morning after something had happened, like an air strike, which had gone wrong and people were not part of the targets were injured and i imagine myself going and saying, the machine did it. i'd be crucified and i should be. take that going to as -- by the way, the same thing
is true, nick, for self-driving over somebody. the judge is going to want to now whether somebody is responsible for this. now that doesn't mean somebody has to be blamed over there is something called having made a mistake and judges accept that, we all accept that. but, there has to be in order or these to be deployed in way that makes consequential decisions that affect people, to be enough transparency and accountability that can ystems that be built in. i said, that will be design riteria for us in the department. i think it is all design criteria in ai everywhere, vito be design criterion it is not automatic. you can build and there are some the extent algorithms which re difficult to retrace the path of decision, so it is something engineers have to i do in, but that is what for, that is my life, is running
programs and technology programs and that is omething that will be done if it is said. that is what it says, it is and itly the right thing is however many years later, six sounds right till to me. >> ash, give you the last word, session.close this i want to ask about something we haven't talked a lot about today. hat is where is leadership going to come from? these are big challenges that we've talked about today, how do with china and not be dominated, but work with them? we maintain military superiority of technological base? i interviewed our friend, secretary coddoleeza rice. worried er what she about the most. sel id, we've lost our
self-confidence. interviewed frederica, i said, lot on your plate, iran and russia and china, what are you worried about? she said, we europeans have lost our self-confidence. took the two statements from these senior women, world leaders, to be that we don't have someone in western leadership, maybe with exception whongela merkel, right now, is saying that the democratic the s opposed to erdogan, are way, democratic ways the way forward, ou intimated, you have confidence that the united states, that the tech community, meet sities can actually the test of this technological revolution. our lf-confidence part of problem?
is leadership part of the problem? >> it is. i'm not pessimistic at all, i think we do have the best system in the world. our values are -- there in, i want i believe my children to live in a world the world nd most of wants to live that way, no justr what the leaders you enumerated think, so in that sense, we're playing a winning, hand and that still matters in this world despite of leaders iness and all ones you named the rib roaring technological changes that go on. it will take and i wasn't present for this earlier, but rom what i infer, what you talked about earlier, about this cooperation between i think you about cooperation between the world of business, the world the world of and thought and ideas and i think it
does take that coming together. i was ot of issues talking about earlier about genomics, olution, ai, social media and so forth. puzzling to people, ut they haven't taken on the political toxicity of other settled issues. is partisan, people are bewildered, they haven't figured lineup.o that is one hopeful thing in technological icture, to me, is if we can make doing something sensible available in front and center, i people may come together behind it. leadership true for in the world, as well. is latent demand for it. polyanish, but not
pessimistic. ick, i don't think you are, by ature, either, bless you for it. i hope people in this room aren't, either. of think we were in danger depressing this group earlier with a big threat, it is nice to on hope that we americans have faith in ourselves and in our society. ash, thank you. >> thank you, nick. >> thank you. for being with us. thank you very much.